IMDb > Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
Letter from an Unknown Woman
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Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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Howard Koch (screenplay)
Stefan Zweig (story)
View company contact information for Letter from an Unknown Woman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 September 1948 (Sweden) See more »
A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
(52 articles)
First Best Actress and Best Actor Academy Award Winners Tonight
 (From Alt Film Guide. 17 November 2014, 5:12 PM, PST)

Win A Promise on DVD
 (From HeyUGuys. 4 August 2014, 12:00 AM, PDT)

A Cinematographer’s Plea to the Budding Film Auteur : Move Your Camera
 (From ShadowAndAct. 11 February 2014, 1:05 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Vienna, the Eternal City See more (56 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Fontaine ... Lisa Berndle

Louis Jourdan ... Stefan Brand

Mady Christians ... Frau Berndle
Marcel Journet ... Johann Stauffer
Art Smith ... John
Carol Yorke ... Marie

Howard Freeman ... Herr Kastner
John Good ... Lt. Leopold von Kaltnegger
Leo B. Pessin ... Stefan Jr.
Erskine Sanford ... Porter
Otto Waldis ... Concierge
Sonja Bryden ... Frau Spitzer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patricia Alphin ... Pretty (uncredited)
Harry Anderson ... (uncredited)
Edit Angold ... Middle-Aged Woman (uncredited)
Lois Austin ... Elderly Woman (uncredited)
Polly Bailey ... Passenger (uncredited)
John T. Bambury ... Midget (uncredited)
George Blagoi ... (uncredited)

Betty Blythe ... Frau Kohner (uncredited)
Walter Bonn ... Col. Kohner (uncredited)
Sven Hugo Borg ... Mover (uncredited)
Robert W. Brown ... 1st Officer (uncredited)
Paul E. Burns ... Concierge (uncredited)
Douglas Carter ... (uncredited)
Donald Chaffin ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Gordon B. Clarke ... Street Singer (uncredited)
Edmund Cobb ... Carriage Driver (uncredited)
Tom Costello ... Musician (uncredited)
Ashley Cowan ... Callow Youth (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Large Woman Exiting Spitzer's (uncredited)
Watson Downs ... Conductor (uncredited)
Tay Dunn ... Young Officer (uncredited)
Al Eben ... Waiter (uncredited)
John Elliott ... Flower Vendor (uncredited)
Edwin Fowler ... Dancing Master (uncredited)
Curt Furburg ... Butler (uncredited)
Lorraine Gale ... Girlfriend (uncredited)

Joe Garcio ... Collector (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Inquisitive Man at Train Depot (uncredited)
Jack George ... Opera Critic (uncredited)
Lisa Golm ... Musician (uncredited)
Roy Gordon ... Elderly Man in Uniform (uncredited)
William Gould ... Bürgermeister (uncredited)
Ilka Grüning ... Ticket-Taker (uncredited)
William Hall ... Mover (uncredited)
Ramsay Hill ... Col. Steindorf (uncredited)
Edna Holland ... Nun (uncredited)
Mauritz Hugo ... Frau Spitzer's Patron (uncredited)
Doretta Johnson ... Girlfriend (uncredited)
Joseph Kamaryt ... Bavarian Mountaineer (uncredited)

Elizabeth Kerr ... (uncredited)
Rex Lease ... Station Attendant (uncredited)
William A. Lee ... Mover (uncredited)
Arthur Lovejoy ... Footman (uncredited)

Celia Lovsky ... Flower Vendor (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Café Customer (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Concert Footman (uncredited)
John McCollum ... Store Helper (uncredited)
Betty McDonough ... (uncredited)
Hal Melone ... Waiter (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... Carriage Driver (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Man on Streetcar (uncredited)
Kay Morley ... Daughter (uncredited)
Leo Mostovoy ... Older Man at Concert (uncredited)
Fred Nurney ... Officer on Street (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Concert Footman (uncredited)
Blanche Obronska ... Young Woman (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Baron's Second (uncredited)
Joe Ploski ... Moving Man (uncredited)
Jean Ransome ... Maid (uncredited)
Peggy Remington ... (uncredited)

Bruce Riley ... Officer (uncredited)
Paul Rochin ... Bavarian Man (uncredited)
Countess Elektra Rozanska ... Elegant Lady (uncredited)
Shimen Ruskin ... Stefan's Friend at Café (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller ... Stefan's Second (uncredited)
Bill Schroff ... Waiter (uncredited)
Irene Seidner ... Frau Mombert (uncredited)
Jameson Shade ... Musician (uncredited)
Lester Sharpe ... Critic (uncredited)
Guy L. Shaw ... Café Patron (uncredited)
Walter Soderling ... Panorama Operator (uncredited)
Pietro Sosso ... Coachman (uncredited)
Helen Spring ... Middle-Aged Woman (uncredited)
Lotte Stein ... Musician (uncredited)
Hermine Sterler ... Mother Superior (uncredited)

Cy Stevens ... Man (uncredited)
Diane Stewart ... Girlfriend (uncredited)
Vera Stokes ... Girlfriend (uncredited)
Frieda Stoll ... Burgomeister's Wife (uncredited)
Paul Peter Szemere ... Mover (uncredited)
William Trenk ... Fritzel (uncredited)
Lisl Valetti ... Musician (uncredited)

Roland Varno ... Stefan's Second (uncredited)
William Vedder ... Street Singer (uncredited)
Erich von Schilling ... Usher (uncredited)
Max Willenz ... Baggage Man (uncredited)
Gabrielle Windsor ... Ballet Girl (uncredited)
June Wood ... Cashier (uncredited)
Judith Woodbury ... Model (uncredited)
Jack Worth ... Officer (uncredited)
Mary Worth ... Musician (uncredited)

Directed by
Max Ophüls  (as Max Opuls)
Writing credits
Howard Koch (screenplay)

Stefan Zweig (story)

Max Ophüls  uncredited

Produced by
John Houseman .... producer
William Dozier .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Daniele Amfitheatrof 
Cinematography by
Franz Planer (director of photography) (as Frank Planer)
Film Editing by
Ted J. Kent 
Art Direction by
Alexander Golitzen 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Ruby R. Levitt (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (gowns)
Makeup Department
Carmen Dirigo .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Lou LaCava .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
E. Dobbs .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Sherwood .... assistant director (as John F. Sherwood)
Mickey Bennett .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Les Warner .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Wally Kirkpatrick .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Glenn E. Anderson .... sound (as Glenn F. Anderson)
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Bert Anderson .... still photographer (uncredited)
Tex Bellah .... best boy (uncredited)
Walter Bluemel .... camera operator (uncredited)
Punk Smith .... key grip (uncredited)
Roland Smith .... grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Virginia Tutwiler .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
David Tamkin .... orchestrator
Other crew
William Dozier .... presenter
Paul Elbogen .... technical adviser
John Hambleton .... coordinator of production
David O. Selznick .... Louis Jordan by arrangement with
Adele Cannon .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
86 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:Atp | Finland:K-16 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Sweden:Btl | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (re-rating) (2009) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: #12855) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Joan Fontaine's favorite movie.See more »
Lisa Berndl:Oh, if only you could've recognized what was always yours, could've found what was never lost. If only...See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Max par Marcel (2009)See more »
Un sospiroSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Vienna, the Eternal City, 22 October 1999
Author: Varlaam from Toronto, Canada

Much of Max Ophüls' elegant Vienna, so affectionately and painstakingly presented here, vanished during the First World War, but much remains today, the baroque accoutrements, the omnipresent aura of devout Catholicism, the genteel amusements of the Prater, and, of course, the music. In that respect, the musical, Vienna has never emotionally quit the time of Emperor Franz Josef.

The photography here is luminous, so befitting since Joan Fontaine has probably never been more radiant. The film seems custom-made for her demeanour, as early on she plays the mild girl of modest means, the one with that expression like a frightened doe. This is the kind of portrayal which served her so well in "Rebecca" and "Suspicion".

She gains confidence and poise as the story progresses, but the reticence remains. Therein lies the story's drama.

At her height of prosperity, she dons a fur coat of purest white, as white as the helping of Schlagobers which accompanies a Viennese cup of Schokolade. As pure of hue as an unsullied white rose. But the purity of the whiteness is illusory. Franz Kafka was beginning to write at about this time in the Cisleithanian city of Prague to the north; he clearly understood the symbolism implicit in fur. Joan's security is undermined by the illicit secret from her past.

Stefan Brand's dumb manservant is an enigmatic figure. He would seem to be the embodiment of all the emotions left unstated by the principal characters. So much goes unsaid in Max Ophüls' charming Austro-Hungarian tragedy.

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